A Brief History of Jackson Guitars

By: depotgang
The Jackson guitar company had its official beginnings in 1978. Originally called Charvel Guitar Repair, Wayne Charvel sold Grover Jackson, his partner, his shares of the company. With the shift in ownership, Jackson was not interested in keeping the old name. Thus, Jackson Guitars were born.

From 1979-1986 the company was located in San Dimas, California. They made guitars at this location up until the company merged with IMC, or International Music Corporation. Now, Fender holds the rights to the Charvel label and manufacturers guitars that are very similar to the early models manufactured in the San Dimas location.

Jackson Guitars or probably best known for their Rhoads-V a guitar that they made with the late Rhandy Rhoads, former guitar player for Quiet Riot and later, Ozzie Osborne. Rhandy Rhoads had quite a following, so therefore this guitar was pretty sought after.

Another thing Jackson is famous for are their guitar styles that appeal to heavy metal and thrash artists. In general, the guitar designs are sleek and elegant and only some of these have designs that appeal to the hard metal style of playing.

In general, Jackson guitars resemble the Gibson Explorer. In fact, the resemblance was so striking that Gibson sued them regularly over the copyrights of this style. They also faced lawsuits from Fender. Jackson lost these suits and the design of the guitars changed. Now that Fender holds the rights, design and production of the guitars is restricted to the earlier Charvel styles.

Jackson has a few distinctive styles of guitars. As previously mentioned, the Randy Rhoads style was designed in cooperation with Rhoads and had an asymmetrical body. Other models include the Warrior, the Kelly (similar to the Gibson Explorer, but a little more slender), the King V, and the Kelly Star.

Artists who currently play Jackson guitars include Phil Collen of Def Leppard, Mark Morton of Lamb of God, Kirk Hammet of Metallica, and Derek Green and Anandas Kisser of Sepultura. Former players include Randy Rhoads, the late Robin Crosby of Ratt, and Vinnie Vincent of KISS.

Here is what people have to say about their Jackson guitars:

About the Jackson PS-4

The tone of the guitar is amazing, as can be heard by placing your ear against the wood while playing, rich, reverb like tone transcends into beautifull leads. I use it with a line 6 vetta (original) and a mesa dual rectifer w/triaxis preamp. I m mostly a ingvay clone with some heavier influences (ATG/The Haunted/insomnium/Symphony X and so on), and I sought it out as a backup for my 91 soloist (paid $1,150 used), I use it more than I do my soloist now.

With a EMG-81 at the bridge and a EMG-89 at the neck, I couldn t be happier with the sound.

Another about the PS-4

The tone of the guitar is amazing, as can be heard by placing your ear against the wood while playing, rich, reverb like tone transcends into beautifull leads. I use it with a line 6 vetta (original) and a mesa dual rectifer w/triaxis preamp. I m mostly a ingvay clone with some heavier influences (ATG/The Haunted/insomnium/Symphony X and so on), and I sought it out as a backup for my 91 soloist (paid $1,150 used), I use it more than I do my soloist now.
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